KAMENSK-URAL, Russia — An anti-gay Russian Ultra-nationalist known for using social media to target LGBT youth in Russia, claims that one of his victims, an alleged “teen” who was tortured and depicted in a widely circulated photo last week, has died.
But widespread reports by LGBT and human rights blogs of the death of the young man in the photo (below right) — now identified as 23-year-old Uzbekistani citizen Imya Sador — remain unverified.
Over the weekend, Russian human rights activist Dr. Valentin Degterev told Spectrum Human Rights Alliance that one of assailants in the photo, Mikhail Krasnov, had posted on his VK.com page that the young male depicted in the photo had been killed.
VK.com is a popular Europe-based social media website similar to Facebook, where anti-gay activists including Krasnov, allegedly lure LGBT victims to meeting places, where they are then harassed, brutally beaten, humiliated and forced to perform sexual acts with inanimate objects.
Many of the encounters are recorded on video and digital photos and then uploaded to YouTube and VK.com groups “Occupy Pedophilia” and “Occupy Kamensky.”
Degterev told Spectrum that he learned of Sador’s death last month, but said it was confirmed in a phone call from Krasnov on Aug. 1.
But LGBTQ Nation has learned from official Russian government sources and police officials Tuesday that there are currenlty no records of Sador’s death, or of any victim matching the name or description of the man depicted in the photographs as claimed by Krasnov.
A source for the local Russian equivalent of the medical examiner in Kamensk-Uralsky city (Sverdlovsk district) told LGBTQ Nation that there were no bodies matching Sador’s name or description in the facility.
One Russian official told LGBTQ Nation that Krasnov’s claim is not an uncommon occurrence, and that such reports are often made to bolster a group’s stature and to gain widespread notoriety.
Krasnov is alleged to be the second in command of the “Occupy Pedophilia” group, which is headed by Maxim Martsinkevich, known (in Russian) as “Tesak” — which translates as “The Cleaver.” The group is principally based in Kamensk-Uralsky, located in the Ural mountains about 1,900 miles east of Moscow.
Martsinkevich is the former leader of a Russian neo-fascist organization “Format 18,” and was released from prison in December 2010 after serving a three-year sentence for inciting ethnic hatred.
He has also been a strong proponent of recent changes in Russian laws that have criminalized LGBT activism, including pride events and public displays of affection between same-sex couples.
Despite the country’s anti-gay laws, one Russian official told LGBTQ Nation that any acts of violence or murder would be dealt with, and that officials were investigating the allegations regarding the Uzbek citizen.
LGBTQ Nation has also reached out to the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to verify the young man’s identity and citizenship status, but a response was not immediately available.